The extinct marsupial wolf

The thylacine, also known as the Tasmanian wolf or Tasmanian tiger, was the largest known carnivorous marsupial. Thylacines were widespread all over Australia and New Guinea, but these were confined in historical times in Tasmania, where now they have become extinct. The thylacine looked like a dog with stripes, but could sit on its hind legs and on its tail like a kangaroo and jump forward 2-3 metres with great agility. At the time of European colonization, the thylacine lived in Tasmania and was widespread specially in the areas near the forests. Probably it hunted at night in the grasslands while during the day it rested, hidden in the forests. The extinction of this curious animal seems to be due to different causes among which the consequence of competition that arose with the dingo, but not only this. Since the times of European colonization the marsupial wolf got the unhappy reputation of being a “predator of sheep”. From 1830, rewards were promised to those who killed this animal, up to 1850. In 1888 the Government of Tasmania again began offering rewards to wipe them out, and in only a few years 2268 were killed. This criterion fell into disuse in time, and in the end it was thought that an epidemic had definitively made the thylacines extinct. The last thylacine was captured in 1933 in West Tasmania and died in the zoo in Hobart in 1936. Since then many researches have been made to find traces of survival of the thylacine, with no results. No one will see a live thylacine again!

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